2 March 2005

Winter on a Scottish coast

A trip to Edinburgh presented a perfect opportunity to catch up on a few seabirds at nearby Musselburgh. The snow had almost vanished, the north wind dropped and the sun even came out as we enjoyed a genuinely thrilling day birding.

Alongside a whole host of wading bird (such as Curlew, Oystercatcher, Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Dunlin, Grey Plover and Turnstone) I also encountered several 'firsts' for me. These were a Red-throated Diver, several Slavonian Grebe, a flock of Velvet Scoter and some spectacular Long-tailed Ducks.

So much in fact, that I barely knew where to look first, and I was so busy that photography was the last thing on my mind for much of the time. Having said that, I did manage the odd shot. Above is a male Eider duck, a thing of real beauty. There is much to be said for local patch birding, but the occasional long-distance trip can expand one's birding horizons like nothing else.
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